Talking to a New Baby..
I was one of those who absolutely could not speak to my baby bump. I tried. I had read a lot about how moms-to-be must speak to their babies, and maybe even play music or sing a song. Believe me when I say that, but I just couldn’t do it. It just felt off to me. I was sure that once the baby arrived, I would be able to speak to him. But that did not work out as planned either. Which is funny, because people would pay to shut me up. I am quite the chatterbox. But I just had no success with talking to a new baby.
But a wee little baby in front of me, and I could not say a word. I did think about singing. But my voice is so horrid, I am tone deaf, and I cannot sing to save my life. So I guess, in some part of my brain, I was shying away from putting my child through the “painful” experience of hearing me sing.
I could take excellent care of him (or at least I would like to think so), and change his diapers and feed him, and even play with him, but there was absolutely no verbal communication. Plenty of hugs and kisses, but no chit chat. And I was bewildered by it. My husband was acing this whole hanging out the son thing, playing games, having fun conversations, and I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t.
Research done by Stanford University shows that talking to the baby helps them learn communication skills, and helps in brain development. It helps them learn to speak early, and this in turn have long lasting benefits well into their childhood, and adult life – confidence, interpersonal skills, and other such personality traits are developed.
Children are born communicators. Their mode of communication being crying to let us know how they feel. From the first week itself, we can hear different types of crying depending on what baby wants. If my baby was hungry, his tone of crying made it clear. If he was fussy and wanted cuddles, that was clear too, So now it was up to me to try to reach out and communicate with him.
A lot of the research I read on this said that no matter how awful you sound, babies love the sound of mom’s and dad’s voice – no matter how froggy and croaky it is. That was definitely good news to me. Through my reading, speaking to people, and my own experiences, I have come a long way now. It took a lot of conscious efforts, but has brought about great results.
Looking back, I realized we did have small conversations and fun when he’d try to push me away during those initial days of breastfeeding. The time when he had no idea that he was in fact pushing me away with his hands in an attempt to come closer to the breast.
Talking to A New Baby
Kisses and cuddles. I could see it made him happy, and he was reacting to me. Gurgles, murmurs, YIPPEE! This was going somewhere. And every time he responded, I was emboldened. This was encouraging, and I started to murmur back with ‘yes baby!’ or ‘okay, sunshine’ etc.
The thing is babies are intelligent, and even if they cant understand the words, they can understand the tone, and the emotions involved. I also noticed that making faces – angry, smiley, grumpy, frowny, – he was definitely registering. So even if you can’t talk, smile at them. I am a pro when it comes to goofy smiles and faces. The smiles brought his smiles out, and that encouraged me a lot.
My husband could easily elicit a response and I wanted that too. Repetition is key. If you are saying smile, keep saying and showing, and saying and showing, and on and on till bubs gets it. Trust me, it works.
Another thing I noticed was that he would watch my hands and gestures closely. So I tried nursery rhymes. Incy Wincey Spider is an easy one, and one which has a fair amount of movements, and he was paying close attention. So I rummaged my brain for all the nursery rhymes I knew once upon a time, and even Googled a few, and started rhyming it for him. I knew I had his attention. Once I realized he wasn’t repulsed by my nursery rhymes or voice, I started humming a few of my own rhymes.
Another thing that tipped me over to the other side was consoling him when he was upset, possibly because of gas and tummy ache. Him whining would pull at my heartstrings, and I would ask him to tell me what was going on, and if he is okay. Not that I got responses, but atleast it opened doors for me and made me more comfortable talking to him.
A lot of people advised me to just tell him what I was doing: changing his nappy, cleaning his bum, putting on clothes, giving milky, whatever, just keep telling him what I am doing, as this helps me communicate with my bubs. And slowly I started adding more details. Instead of saying we are going to put a onesie! I started saying we are putting a new clean onesie for my lil man, who is going to look so cute, etc etc.
It has got to a point now that I am constantly singing or chatting away with him, and it is fantastic! He is having massive conversations with me too. I say something and look at him, and he responds and waits for me to talk. I think he realizes I am listening. So when you do have a conversation, give bubs time to speak too.
I am not sure whether he is discussing world politics, and how to bring about world peace, or telling me the schedule of his next poo. It doesn’t matter though, because we love to talk! I just hope he isn’t asking me to shut up! Ha!
Once or twice, I have tried reading to him. But I just haven’t found our connection when it comes to reading yet. Maybe it is because we haven’t found the right books. Now that he is four plus months, I am thinking of buying a few nice interactive books to take our communication journey forward.
So, if you were like me, completely incapable of speaking to a baby, let me assure you that it will change. Hang in there.
Here is a rhyme you can adapt for yourself (in case you are struggling with talking to a new baby like I was):
“Ayan is the best baby, the best baby, the best bay
Ayan is the best baby
The best baby in the world…
Ayan is a cutie pie, a cutie pie, a cutie pie.
Ayan is a cutie pie,
The cutest in the world…
Ayan is my bunny, my bunny, my bunny.
Ayan is my bunny,
Mommy’s favorite in the world…
Ayan is a superstar, a superstar, a superstar
Ayan is a superstar,
Dada’s dearest lil guy…
Ayan is a poop monster, a poop monster, a poop monster,
My Ayan is a poop monster.
Who likes to fart all day…
Ayan always wants milky, wants milky, wants milky
Ayan always wants milky
Cuz he wants to be a big boy…
Ayan is a lil cupcake, a lil cookie, a lil cupcake
Ayan is a lil cupcake
The sweetest of them all…
Ayan is a ray of sunshine, a ray of sunshine, a ray of sunshine.
Ayan is a ray of sunshine
Who brightens up everyday…
And Our awesome Poopie Rap!
“I am the bomb!
The stink bomb!
With poopie in my diapie..
And I vomitty vomitty vomitty!
Yes, the bomb!”
poetry is awesome….
Lovely cute post!??
thank you 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Great post, I am the same way. I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and I do talk to my belly sometimes, but not as often as I hear other expecting mothers do. Something about it just seems a little strange and odd to me. I love her so much already I just don’t like talking to my belly all the time!
xoxo Lex // LexMeetsWorld
Mommy Dil :)
I absolutely get you mommy! I just could not talk to my bump often. I just could not..
So true, I used to do it all the time and to be honest the bond you create with your bump is unexplained but so epic
Mommy Dil :)
I never talked to my bump but love talking to my son! He’s 16 months and still not saying anything back yet but hopefully soon!
Mommy Dil :)
Its an exciting time. My boy babbles! But hopefully will start chatting soon ?
Its great that you found a way to be successful.This is true in all aspects of life.Something easy for you is hard for someone else. You just need to keep looking to find what works for you. Congrats on your success!
I struggled to talk to my belly, but I am a chatty cathy with my three-month-old now. I have no idea what changed! But my husband is very similar to you, where he has a hard time doing it. I think as she gets older though, he will like it more. This was a very interesting post!
Mommy Dil :)
It foes get better! 🙂
My boy is 1 now and we are in a much better place. He babbles i talk but we do have lots of conversations
I love your cute rhyme! I’ve always talked to myself, so I was able to transfer that to talking to my baby pretty easily, but if you don’t already talk to yourself like a crazy person I can see how that would be more difficult!
Mommy Dil :)
Thing is i used to talk to me inside my head. So that was a no go!
But look at me now..cute rhymes n all ??
Talking to your little one is so important! I once read a study that baby’s will develop accents at as young as 6 weeks old with their crying and cooing! That is how fast they pick up the language around them…absolutely amazing!
Mommy Dil :)
Ooooo..that is very interesting!
But that might he has an American accent considering all the American tv shows i was binge watching while breastfeeding ???
I always felt weird talking to my daughter when I was pregnant. She’s a little chatterbox and our conversation is never ending 🙂 Great post!
Mommy Dil :)
My one year old loves to babble too..Thank heavens they turned out chatty. Yay..or not :p
I love that rhyme! I constantly rhyme and sing to my little one. I swear I make up the silliest of songs, but all that matters is that he likes them. This was such a great post and so full of suggestions to help make trying to communicate with your child a lot easier!
I used to just talk to myself. I would talk about what my schedule was for the day. Even things like that help the baby. You just have to know it doesn’t matter what you say just your voice they love.
Yeah. I ve heard this too. 🙂